Weekend Ideas: January 31, 2014


Cinematic bands with Boston roots grace the start of a deceptively busy weekend in different settings. For a sit-down experience, Gem Club celebrates the release of its sparsely atmospheric album In Roses at the Museum of Fine Arts’ Remis Auditorium on Friday. With his voice and piano, songwriter Christopher Barnes spins fragile melancholy similar to Antony & the Johnsons, if with less drama and more patient reflection, assisted by vocalist Ieva Bererian and cellist Kristen Drymala, who also punctuates their soundscapes with pedal bells. And for late-night club denizens, Arms & Sleepers (comprised of Max Lewis and Mirza Ramic) marks its local return from hiatus to play the Middle East Upstairs. Expect visual overlays and percolating beats underneath the duo’s film-inspired soundscapes.

Alternative hip-hop fans will more likely hit House of Blues on Friday for chill, slinky headliners Aer, the Wayland-bred duo of Carter Schultz and David van Mering. They’ve shared the stage with Grammy darlings Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and adopt a breezy pop sound for their new single “Says She Loves Me.” Horn-happy jazz fans have a pair of fine options Friday and Saturday, and they could even hit both. Stylish, bop-weaned trumpeter Roy Hargrove holds court at Scullers, while alto sax firebrand Kenny Garrett hits the Regattabar, his music seeming broader and more inviting of late. Or check out the ruminating, under-the-radar jazz of Sketches, a young Brooklyn outfit that includes ex-Either Orchestra alto player Jeremy Udden, at Inman Square’s Lily Pad on Friday.

Soul fans can savor the gospel-steeped sass of Mavis Staples (on the heels of her second album with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, the Grammy-nominated One True Vine) on Saturday in Cary Memorial Hall, a Colonial-styled auditorium in Lexington. Count on Mavis to deliver her sly attack on classics from her days with the Staple Singers as well as other nuggets, evidenced in this frisky clip from 2013.

Finally, for my Thursday throwback, in anticipation of the Arctic Monkeys’ Feb. 6 show at Agganis Arena, here’s the band when they were punky whippersnappers, before their Queens of the Stone Age-inspired turn toward slower, darker rock.

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